I keep a list of themed websites that are easy-in easy-out for students. They must be activities that can be accomplished enjoyably in less than ten minutes. In the parlance, these are called “sponges”.
What exactly are sponge activities? The term, originally coined by Madeline Hunter, refers to an activity designed to produce learning during the time taken up by “administrivia.” They stem from Hunter’s teaching philosophy that there should be no wasted moments in her classroom.
Here’s my list, by topic: (more…)
Web 2.0 is the most exciting thing to happen to education since the schoolhouse. It is a limitless classroom, allowing students access to anything they can define. Includes what’s a digital citizen, how to create a blog, a classroom internet start page, a classroom wiki, how to join social networks and post pictures on Flikr, where to go for podcasting and online docs, and more.
Here’s where you start: (more…)
When your child is learning to keyboard, they need 10-15 minutes two to three times a week. Even for kindergartners. Choose a fun software program–whichever will keep their attention when they’re young. I use Type to Learn Jr. in my school until half-way through first grade, but there are other good ones. For the older children, I use Type to Learn. I have great results with it. Students are challenged, intrigued, motivated by the prizes and the levels.
Another option is online typing sites. Typingweb is good. It’s a graduated program that keeps track of your progress. If you’re picking an online program as an alternative to software, it’s important to log in so the software remembers what your child has accomplished.
If you’re going to use online sites as part of an overall typing practice curriculum, here are some other good sites to try: (more…)
I only get my students 45 minutes a week. That’s not enough time to teach computer basics AND necessary keyboard skills. So, I give homework. It’s 45 minutes a week of homework:
If the lesson plans are blurry, click on them for a full size alternative.
Internet start pages are a great idea for kids. They put everything in one spot that they need to safely surf the net. You can put their favorite websites, as well as photostreams, games, more. (more…)